Fighting an Indecent Exposure Charge
According to the Fort Myers News-Press, a Vermont couple was recently arrested for indecent exposure after allegedly having sex in front of other beachgoers in the water off Sanibel, Florida. In addition to being found partially nude, the couple reportedly acted aggressively toward Sanibel police officers.
Indecent exposure is a serious charge that can carry serious consequences. In cases such as that of the couple arrested in Sanibel, an indecent exposure charge may not be surprising. However, while it may seem unfair, even someone who did not intend to cause a problem in public and did not have sexual intentions can also end up with a charge of indecent exposure.
What is Indecent Exposure?
A person’s behavior violates Florida’s indecent exposure statute when the person either:
- Exposes his or her sexual organs in a vulgar or indecent manner while in public, on the private property of someone else or so close to someone else’s private property such that he or she can be seen from said private property OR
- Is naked in public in any place not designed for that purpose (i.e. a nude beach).
What Are the Potential Consequences of an Indecent Exposure Conviction?
Under Florida law, indecent exposure is a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. There are other potential consequences, as well. Background checks are a routine part of life these days and everything from the ability to obtain a professional license, to employment prospects, to educational program admissions can be affected by an indecent exposure conviction.
What Are Possible Indecent Exposure Defenses?
Lack of Intent. For example, being able to show that you thought you were on the property at one of Florida’s nude beaches but had inadvertently wandered off the property.
Mental Disability and Illness. An individual who has been diagnosed with a mental impairment may not be held liable for his or her actions if he or she is unable to tell that they are wrongful.
Age. The younger a child is, the less likely that there was an intentional exposure.
Breastfeeding. Women cannot be charged with indecent exposure for breastfeeding in Florida.
I Know I’m Innocent. Do I Need to Hire An Attorney?
Absolutely. Despite being a misdemeanor, do not mistake the seriousness of the potential implications that come with an indecent exposure charge. You should not assume that the court will accept the facts as you will tell them simply because you know that you did not commit indecent exposure. You need an experienced sex crimes attorney who may be able to help you get your charges reduced or even dropped.
Reach Out For Help Today.
Many sex crimes attorneys do not have what it takes to successfully defend someone who has been charged with indecent exposure. With this being such a highly-charged issue, it is critical that you reach out for help from a sex crimes attorney who can take control of your case. As a former prosecutor with extensive criminal experience on both sides of the legal system, Donald C. Barrett is the Tampa sex crimes attorney you need to help you clear your name. Schedule a consultation today.